Monday, April 6, 2009

Finally: A Diagnosis (I hope)

Hopefully we will get on top of the ear problem now. It took several trips to my doc, two different ENTs (ear nose throat docs) three full courses of antibiotics, a course of steroids, prescription antihistamine, prescription steroid nasal spray, a trip to the emergency room, prescription pain killers and prescription muscle relaxers and a whole bunch of over the counter stuff too. Last Wednesday I went to a recommended ENT with Swedish. She listened to everything I was describing and my stabbing at the dark theories. It was so nice to have someone who didn’t discount anything I said. Then she did a wonderful (not) alien probe into my nose and down my throat. The epitome of “uncomfortable.” Her conclusion (what we are trying to fix now) is a rare but known presentation of reflux. I have never been aware of having a problem with reflux but it can come on suddenly and the stress that my body went through on the trip and good old fashioned life stress must have brought it on suddenly. I experience it in my ears: the equivalent of having acid in the nerve studded inner ear/Eustachian tubes. I’m trying to get on top of it, learning when to medicate and paying attention to when and under what circumstances it is noticeable. I have been able to have some pain free time with my ears and hopefully it will happen for longer periods of time. If this doesn’t turn out to be this then I at least feel this doc is committed to figure it out.

Okay, now to the fun stuff:

My faithful Jetta (10 years in my possession and 114000miles on the odometer) needed a few things: new windshield, 4 better tires, and a few minor, mostly convenience things fixed. With good intentions, but no follow through, those things had been needed for quite some time now. Then two weekends ago my trunk refused to open. Not with the remote key. Not manually with the key. Not with the trunk release. She was holding on tight to lots of forgotten treasures…and my laptop. Fortunately she had fold down back seats so I was able to get to the computer through the seats. But, I realized I’d really be screwed if I had a flat tire. So the trunk fixing I couldn’t put off. And it would have to be fixed at the dealer. I started adding up all the $$ I needed to spend on her and decided she was telling me that she was tired and wanting to find a new home. Then I looked at my very small parking place and thought about what would be the best car to put there. The following Saturday I headed south to the Mini Cooper dealer and test drove a few. They were awesome. The salesman was also easy on the eyes and more charming than a car salesman ought to be. They offered me more than I thought I’d get for the Jetta and were priced less than I was anticipating. So, with encouragement and support from Anne, who had come along for the adventure, I drove off in my beautiful 2009 mini hatchback in a bright, school bus yellow (technically called, by Mini, “Mellow Yellow” but there is nothing mellow about the color) with a nice large sunroof. I actually went down to check out a slightly used, 2008 convertible Mini but for oh so many reasons talked myself out of that mid-life crisis. I love my little car. It’s got tons of power, great mileage (been getting 35-38 average mpg, even with City driving), has lots of fun features and interesting knobs and dials. Got very affordable financing (now the time they are dealing at the dealerships) and got to spend more time with Rocky, my charming salesman. The downside is the size of the back seats: the leg room is really sparse, but given my current life situation (like an empty nest) that won’t be a problem too often. Andy has a small Ford Focus station wagon if a longer road trip with more people or a big trip to the Goodwill is required.

I took Mini across the state to Pullman this last weekend. Had a wonderful visit with my Sis, Julie, and her family. Even got to see my nephew play a soccer game in Spokane (he scored one goal and assisted in another: tied the other team). We took my dad out to dinner for an early birthday celebration (he’s a young 82 years). I met my niece’s nice boyfriend and went to church with my sister and the kids where I saw a parents of a few high school friends. Got some great visiting in with my sister, though the time is never enough. Enjoyed some springlike weather. I headed back around noon on Sunday. My sister-in-law, who had also been over, participating in Mother’s weekend with my nephew Casey, headed back a little before me. She has a convertible Mini she’s had since the convertibles came out (I think about 5 years) and had some good advice for me when I was shopping around. Anyway, she called me when I was on the road to let me know that the pass was closed for avalanche control, that there was currently an 8 mile back up and delays estimated at around 3 hours. Fortunately I got that message before I got to Ellensburg so I killed a few hours buying things I didn’t need at Wallmart and went to a great gift shop (Wind River) to pick up wedding gifts. That was enough time (and too much money) to spend, and when I was done the pass was re-opened. I sailed through. But it was much later than I had planned. My biggest disappointment was that it was so late the car wash was closed. I had to go today instead. Going over the pass in winter, and through farming country in spring leads to a muddy, buggy car. (This adventure is the "distraction" I referenced in my last blog. I surprised my sister with it when I drove over.)

I will post pictures of my fun new car as soon as I take them. It’s too dark now. What a long post. I guess there’s lots of catching up to do when I leave too much time between posts. Honestly, I was just too affected by the ear drama to find any inspiration. But, ever since I got the diagnosis last Wednesday, productiveness is returning. Having hope and a little relief is making all the difference.

Cheerio for now-

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad you are feeling better, I was getting concerned!
Maryellen was also over here this weekend and did get caught in that mess at the pass.They left Spokane at 10:30am and got into Mercer Island at 6:00! Kate